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All You Need To Know About Ocular Migraines, A Strange Eye Symptom

July 14, 2023

Migraine headaches are often associated with intense pain, but did you know that migraines can also affect your vision? Ocular migraines, also known as retinal migraines or visual migraines, are a peculiar type of migraine that can cause a range of visual disturbances without throbbing head pain.

In this blog, we’ll discuss ocular migraines, exploring their symptoms, causes, and management.

Understanding ocular migraines

Ocular migraines are a unique subset of migraines that primarily affect the visual system. Unlike typical migraines that cause severe headaches, ocular migraines lead to temporary visual disruptions in one eye. These disturbances can manifest as flickering lights, zigzag lines, blind spots, or shimmering stars. Although unsettling, ocular migraines usually resolve on their own within 20 to 30 minutes.

Symptoms to look out for

The hallmark of ocular migraines is their impact on vision. Individuals experiencing an ocular migraine might notice:

  • Visual distortions: Zigzag lines, wavy patterns, or flashing lights can obscure parts of your visual field.
  • Blind spots: Temporary blind spots, also known as scotomas, can appear in your vision.
  • Shimmering or sparkling lights: Some people describe seeing twinkling lights, similar to stars or fireworks.
  • Hemianopia: A sensation of half-vision loss in one eye, often described as a curtain falling over part of the visual field.

While these visual symptoms can be alarming, they usually subside relatively quickly and are typically painless.

Possible causes

The exact cause of ocular migraines is still debated within the medical community. However, it is believed that they may be triggered by similar factors that lead to traditional migraines, such as stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, a lack of sleep, or specific environmental factors. Ocular migraines are often considered harmless and don’t usually require immediate medical attention.

Seeking medical attention

While ocular migraines themselves are generally not a cause for alarm, it’s important to differentiate them from other serious conditions that can also cause sudden visual disturbances. If you experience new or severe visual symptoms, it’s crucial to consult an eye care professional or a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues.

Managing Ocular Migraines

Managing ocular migraines often involves addressing triggers and adopting healthy lifestyle habits:

  • Identify triggers: Keeping a journal to track potential triggers like stress, certain foods, or a lack of sleep can help you avoid these factors.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Regular exercise, proper hydration, and balanced nutrition can contribute to overall well-being and possibly reduce the frequency of migraines.
  • Stress management: Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help alleviate stress, which is a common trigger.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can exacerbate migraine symptoms, so ensure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
  • Regular sleep patterns: Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can play a significant role in migraine prevention.


Ocular migraines may be strange and unsettling, but they are usually harmless and short-lived. If you experience visual disturbances, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues. By understanding potential triggers and adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can take steps to minimize the occurrence of ocular migraines and promote overall eye health. Remember, your eyesight is precious, and being vigilant about your visual well-being is key to a brighter, clearer future.

Schedule an appointment at Ojas – Eye Hospital

At Ojas Eye Hospital in Mumbai, we have experts who can help treat ocular migraines that impact your visual activities. We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality care to address all issues associated with this condition, as we deeply value the importance of your precious eyes.


Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.